Eclipse returns, Piper retreats

The Eclipse 500 flying near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA

Eclipse Aerospace looks set to put the Eclipse 500 very light jet back into production, backed by aviation giant Sikorsky. Eclipse originally promised a light jet that would cost under $1m. I remember writing about it for Popular Science or Wired back in 2001. However the company went bust in 2008 after producing 260 aircraft. Now, perhaps, the company hopes to produce 50-100 Eclipse 550s a year at a price exceeding $2m per plane.

In other news, Flight Global reports that Piper has suspended work on its six-seat single-engine Altaire jet. “Clearly, the market for light jets is not recovering sufficiently and quickly enough to allow us to continue developing the programme under the economic circumstances we face,” says Interim President and CEO Simon Caldecott.

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